This Food Agrees: It’s Food

WTF does this even mean?

This bacon agrees with itself on its consumable nature?

Everybody got together and agreed it could be eaten?

The lettuce and tomato are of the same mindset on a number of key issues?

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What You Think You Know About Whole Grains Is Probably All Wrong (Sorry)

You’ve been told by someone that you should eat lots of whole grains. Everybody got on the whole grains bus and now a bunch of crappy foods are made with whole grains. You now think you must be doing something nutritionally good.

Unwhole grains are unholy.

Unwhole grains are another way of saying processed grains… grains that have had the key nutritional bits removed. Take your standard white flour, which can be used for seemingly-everything from breading your chicken wings to baking your cupcakes to being the key ingredient in your breads and pastas. Here’s how the nutrition on something like that looks:

  • 1 cup (158 grams) of white flour
  • 578 calories. 1 cup of white flour has about 1/4 of the calories suggested that you eat in an entire DAY.
  • Low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Great.
  • 126 grams of carbs. Less than 4 grams of “dietary fibre.” So 2.5% of it is healthy fiber.
  • Not much protein or vitamins. You’re not eating chicken wings and cupcakes for the vitamins.

This is what you’re eating all day in your bagels, macaronis, and on sandwiches. A giant pile of high-calorie carbs with pretty much no nutritional value. It’s sadly the foundation of an American diet, even for vegetarian and vegans (who aren’t reading labels).

Now let’s talk about whole grains. Whole grains are unrefined and still have the healthier parts of the grains included. And that implies that we’re talking about non-GMO grains. Anything Monsanto has touched, well Lord knows what’s in that.

Let’s consider quinoa.

  • 1 cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa
  • 222 calories. Less than half what the same amount of white flour had.
  • Low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Great.
  • 39 grams of carbs. 5 grams of dietary fibre.
  • Not much vitamins but it has 8g of protein and 15% of your daily value of iron.
  • Plus it’s gluten free for anybody looking to avoid gluten.

You’ve heard you should eat brown rice with your Chinese food instead of white rice. Well, eating brown rice will give you a bit more fiber but also a bit more calories.

Well if the whole point is to have fibre, what should I be eating?

The foods with the highest amounts of fibre include bran (yeah, just bran), cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, raspberries, celery, squash, and kidney beans.

Notice that other than bran, NONE of the foods in the top 10 are grains.

The health promises of whole grains are mostly a lie unless you are eating the right things.

If you are eating crappy processed oatmeal with sugar, preservatives, and it promises some “whole grains,” what have you really eaten? Did you really get any of the nutrition your body needs? What nutritional elements are you getting daily from your pasta, bagel, sandwich bread, cookies, pizza, cereal, etc…? I suggest you are getting nearly zero nutrition and mostly empty calories from these things.

And have you ever noticed how quickly you’re hungry again? You could eat a whole bowl of Cheerios and be ready to eat some more in an hour. This is one of many reasons why “all you can eat pasta” is such a bad idea. No nutrition, endless calories.

You’re eating whole grains to reduce your risk factors for heart disease, cancers, and other health issues. Is the rest of your diet aimed at that goal?

I would bet that staying away from starches, especially refined flours and grains, would give you just as many health benefits if not more than eating “whole grains” or products made with whole grains. What if you got your fibre mostly from broccoli instead of the small amount of truly whole wheat you’re getting each day.

Keep reading labels because wheat and whole wheat aren’t the same thing. Whole grains and “made with whole grains” aren’t the same thing. Don’t believe the lies and don’t tell yourself lies about nutrition. We can all do better for ourselves and the children. :)


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Your Yogurt Has More Sugar And Crap Than A Can Of Coke

Yogurt. When you think of it, you tend to think of a healthy snack. Labels covered in fruits and honey. Healthy, right? Happy cow! Certified humane. Real milk. Happy farm. Healthy blueberries. This must be good for you and packed with nutrition, right?

browncow

Have you ever read a label for yogurt? I read labels. Prepare yourself.

browncow2

Holy cow! Second ingredient is honey. Fourth ingredient is sugar. Sixth ingredient is “natural flavours,” which I’m still afraid might be beaver ass. Locust bean gum and maple syrup? WTF. It’s a tiny container. Look at the size compared to my thumb. And it has 180 calories. That’s more than a whole can of Coke.

I read labels. So I eat Greek Gods plain yogurt. No, they didn’t pay me to say that.

Greek Gods makes lots of flavours. Their honey and strawberry and sweet flavours have piles of calories. But they’re good at leaving out what shouldn’t be in yogurt. Here are their ingredients for their plain flavour:

greekgods

Milk, cream, pectin, cultures. The end. No sugars, syrups, or mysteries. Fewer calories. And just better for you.

It’s 2014. Time to read labels. And if you can’t draw the ingredient, it may be something not designed to go into your body.

Don’t be fooled by “natural” or other claims on the front of a package. That could say anything and be true or not. Remember my blog post about the random crap in Skippy’s “All Natural” Peanut Butter?

That great commercial from my childhood stayed with me. Why buy and eat stuff you can’t read or understand? The human body wasn’t designed for this stuff. There’s only so surprised we should be at how much disease and health issues people and their children have. Let’s raise our standards. Read labels and speak with your dollar.


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What Azodicarbonamide In Food Should Mean To You

Everybody’s talking about azodicardonamide in Subway’s bread and other products. This is the so-called yoga mat chemical. Subway will be removing it from bread. Some people are calling for it to be removed from anything we’d eat.

I noticed some blogs saying that they don’t care about this. Why? The writers tend to say because we’ve all been eating it all along and we’re all just fine so it can’t be that bad.

Are we really all that well?

If I’m to believe what I watch and read on the news and reported from friends’ real lives in Facebook posts, the USA is fatter and sicker than ever. We have more autism and birth defects than ever. We have more cancer than ever.

The “I’ve been eating/doing it this long and I’m fine” is typically said by someone experiencing a moment of perceived immortality without any thoughts of the future. My grandpa smoked for decades, and it eventually killed him. Lots of people back then thought smoking would be OK. And as the years without symptoms passed, they could only think, hey I’m smoking and I’m fine, so this must be OK.

Choices like these are not OK if we care at all about the possible outcomes of our future health.

There are lots of things you can do and be “OK.” You can recreationally use drugs. You can never exercise. You can smoke. Drink. Beat people up. Eat man-made chemicals disguised as food, even ones other countries have banned. You might be OK now. But it would be smarter for you to admit that you really have no idea what these long term effects will be.

You have no idea how eating or doing these things might affect your future children. Your future health. I think our grandparents’ generation were a sturdy bunch, and not just because they lived through war and depression. They were a group of people who ate food before it was canned, microwaved, mass produced, and chemically enhanced. They were some pretty rugged people. I think a lot of that was the quality of their diet. There’s only so much crap you can add to food in 1918.

Start reading labels and making better decisions.

I remember from childhood an ice cream commercial reading a competitor’s label and stopping on “polysorbate 80.” What is THAT? Our ice cream just has milk, cream, sugar, etc… The commercial had a great point that really affected me:

If you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is, you probably shouldn’t eat it.

Does your “vitamin water” need chromium polynicotinamide?

Should you eat glycerol ester wood of rosin?

You should not eat high fructose corn syrup. They’ve only convinced you it’s OK by using 4 words that separately sound safe. Even if they rename it corn sugar, it’s freaking poison and I believe a large cause of the health and weight issues people face.

Aspartame, known as Nutrasweet. The devil.

Here is a great article giving you more info on things in our foods and what health problems they seem to cause. Read labels, look for these, and then buy something ELSE.

http://health.yahoo.net/experts/menshealth/12-scariest-things-your-food

For more, just Google crazy chemicals in food.


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Terrible Slogan: Too Delicious To Be Nutritious

I heard this on a commercial and couldn’t believe how awful it was. I think it means, “This tastes good but it’s not good for you.” A lot of so called Greek yogurts have a lot of sugar and corn syrup. They’re not all good for you.

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What does this slogan say to you?


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Skippy Natural Peanut Butter Isn’t

“Natural.” It’s the latest craze sweeping labels. Everything wants to say it’s natural. What does that really mean? Take peanut butter. To me, “natural” peanut butter has nothing added to it other than what you need to make peanut butter. That would be roasted peanuts, period. Or if you like salted, roasted peanuts and salt. That’s it.

I typically get my PB from Trader Joe’s. I had also tried Kroger brand natural PB, which was good. I decided to try Safeway’s home delivery service recently. I searched their site for natural peanut butter. I got a few national brands. I picked one at random. Skippy. It says natural. I assume it’ll be what I want, and good enough until I can hit Trader Joe’s. Looking at Skippy’s website now, they claim it has no preservatives, artificial flavours, or artificial colours. Sounds good to me. The order came, I read the label, and the four-letter words flew.

The ingredients are roasted peanuts, sugar, palm oil, and salt. Sugar?? And palm oil? That doesn’t even come from a peanut. Palm oil is high in saturated fat, and has been found to promote heart disease. How is that “natural peanut butter”? I also recently saw an exposé on the news. Palm oil is surrounded in controversy because of how it’s farmed and how the workers are treated. Holy cats! Natural? I’m insulted.

The Target Audience

One of two things has to be going on here.

  • Possibility #1: Skippy doesn’t understand what natural peanut butter is. Well, maybe. I hope they will all go on field trips to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to find out!
  • Possibility #2: Skippy feels that their target audience likes to see the word “natural” on the label, but then won’t read the rest of the label to see what’s really going on inside. I was only guilty of that because I was ordering online. In the stores, I read every label.

Assuming the reality here is #2, that says a lot about human behaviour. It says we want to feel like we’re doing the right thing by purchasing “natural” products, but we don’t take the extra step to check that we’re getting what we’re promised. That means that manufacturers can and will continue to slip things by people who are only paying a fraction of the attention they think they are.

I’m sure the parents buying this “natural” PB thinks they are giving their kids something better. The difference between Skippy Creamy PB and Skippy Natural Creamy PB? The regular version has hydrogenated vegetable oils while the “natural” substitutes palm oil. You’re still giving yourself or your kids plenty of sugar and unhealthy oils.

I challenge manufacturers to be more honest in their labeling. I challenge consumers to be smarter and more thorough. Just because you can get something by someone doesn’t mean you should.


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